GOP megadonor funds Israeli think tank to shut down 'Israel' critics
Jeffrey Yass, a billionaire from Pennsylvania, is funding organizations dedicated to shutting down criticism of Israeli human rights violations, not only within the occupation but also in the US among other countries
The sole donor to a political action committee formed to allegedly strengthen the Democratic Party's establishment wing is sponsoring an Israeli research group that seeks to strengthen the Israeli occupation, The Intercept reported.
Jeffrey Yass, a Pennsylvania billionaire and Republican megadonor is a major supporter of both the anti-leftist 'Moderate' PAC and the Kohelet Policy Forum, which works to maintain the image of the Israeli occupation.
The new administration of Israeli occupation's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken unprecedented steps to undercut democratic checks and balances, weaken the occupation's Supreme Court, and further entrench the influence of its far-right coalition, all while escalating brutal aggression against Palestinians. Those moves have been influenced in part by Kohelet, one of whose members is likewise attempting to influence congressional activity in the United States.
The Director of Policy at J Street, Debra Shushan, said as quoted by The Intercept that a couple of conservative American billionaires are devoting “bottomless resources” to maintain the Israeli narrative.
Not only in "Israel"
Kohelet's goals are not limited to the occupation's domestic politics. Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, stated that the organization's director of international policy has supported US legislation making boycotts of "Israel" illegal, and has exerted strained efforts "to effectively change US laws so that we no longer view boycotts of 'Israel' or settlements as a legitimate form of protest."
Eugene Kontorovich, Chairman of Kohelet's International Law department and Director of George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School's Center for the Middle East and International Law, has been active in efforts to establish domestic laws opposing protests against the Israeli occupation.
Kontorovich has contributed policy drafts and assistance for state and federal legislation against the anti-"Israel" boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign (BDS).
The BDS movement is a nonviolent campaign against Israeli abuses against Palestinians. BDS stands for "boycotts, divestment, and sanctions" against "Israel".
The movement prides itself in being a "movement that works to end international support for 'Israel's' oppression of Palestinians and pressure it to comply with international law." The Palestinian-led movement has for years urged artists to boycott "Israel" for its inhuman actions against Palestinians.
The international community has become far more supportive of BDS efforts, notably with the increase of Israeli crimes.
In further detail, Kontorovish has confessed in more than eight congressional hearings on key issues including, "antisemitic domestic terrorism, the relocation of the U.S. embassy in 'Israel' to Jerusalem, 'Israel’s' control over the Golan Heights, and Palestinian attempts to join the International Criminal Court."
Reframing all criticism of 'Israel' in the US as 'antisemitic'
Unsurprisingly, Kontorovich is also engaged in conservative political circles in the United States and abroad, and he spoke last year at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Budapest, Hungary. Friedman highlighted that Kontorovish had a key role in Kohelet's push to reinterpret all criticism of "Israel" in the United States as "antisemitic".
This is particularly obvious in removing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Panel by the House of Representatives, claiming she advanced "anti-Semitic" tropes.
While the Israeli occupation's government works with Kohelet to push for the increased brutality of the occupation’s government, the group’s benefactor is taking similar steps in the US.
"It’s not a coincidence", Friedman said, that "one of Kohelet’s sponsors is now funding a new PAC targeting progressive candidates."
The billionaire's support for the Haganah-minded politics in "Israel" is well known, but his domestic political ventures have only recently included cracking down on progressives in the US Congress, who have consistently been the only elected officials willing to criticize the United States' unwavering support for "Israel".
His support for the Moderate PAC comes as international good governance organizations increasingly recognize "Israel" as an apartheid entity, and members of Congress are being censured for speaking out against Israeli atrocities.
According to Friedman, Kohelet and the Moderate PAC are both parts of a larger operation to stifle congressional criticism of "Israel" and strengthen institutional support for Netanyahu.
Kohelet has orchestrated many Israeli Haganah-minded policies, she noted, adding that Congress has stifled critiques of the same policies, which have been repeatedly condemned by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
“Now the common refrain in Congress is, ‘Oh, this is antisemitic,’ which is then used to shut down critics of Israel like Ilhan Omar. There’s something rather elegant about this.”
"It suggests that on this issue, we all stand together arm in arm on what it means to be pro-'Israel' today," Friedman said as quoted by The Intercept. “This is why they’re so worried about progressive candidates coming up in the ranks. You’ve gotta nip this in the bud.”
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